How does battery storage work

How does battery storage work

Battery storage technologies are a key component in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. These systems are increasingly vital for balancing green energy generation and electricity demand and storing energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. This stored energy can then be utilised when there’s a high demand for power.

What is battery storage?

Battery energy storage systems, sophisticated and rechargeable, store energy from solar panels or the electric grid for use in homes or businesses. Equipped with advanced technology absent in standard batteries, these systems adeptly handle tasks like peak shaving and load shifting, to help balance the use of energy.

The most common form of battery storage is lithium-ion batteries, similar to those in smartphones and electric vehicles. These batteries are predominant in large-scale facilities, aiding electricity grids in maintaining a consistent supply of renewable energy.

The role of battery storage

Battery storage plays a crucial role in sustaining the use of green energy in homes and businesses, especially during periods without sun or wind.

Battery storage systems, far more sophisticated than ordinary household batteries, are capable of being charged with energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind. These systems utilise advanced software with algorithms to manage energy production. Computerised control systems determine the optimal times for energy storage or release to the power grid. During peak demand periods, energy is discharged from these systems, helping to reduce costs and maintain consistent electricity supply.

Commercial and domestic battery energy storage systems typically feature an integrated inverter and automated control systems. This design makes them all-encompassing, ready-to-use solutions that are straightforward to set up and require minimal maintenance. Additionally, these systems demand no specialised knowledge or effort from the owner. They are also designed to be weatherproof and safe for both people and animals.

The application of battery storage

Battery storage offers diverse applications, extending well beyond mere emergency backup during power shortages or blackouts. Their uses vary between business and residential settings.

For commercial and industrial scenarios, battery storage serves multiple functions:

Peak shaving: to manage sudden spikes in energy use.
Load shifting: enabling businesses to adjust energy use to times when costs are lower.
Providing flexibility: to reduce grid demand during critical times, aiding in Demand Response programs and energy cost savings.

Essential for microgrids, allowing disconnection from the main grid as necessary.
Integrating with renewable sources, ensuring consistent electricity supply even when renewable energy is unavailable.

Residential applications include:

Self-consumption: using solar energy generated during the day at night.
Emergency backup: power up during blackouts.
Going off-grid: the possibility of completely disconnecting from traditional energy utilities.

How does battery storage work?

Battery storage works in three similar stages:

Step 1: Changing.
During daylight, the battery storage system is charged by clean electricity generated by solar.

Step 2: Optimising.
Intelligent battery software uses algorithms to coordinate solar production, usage history, utility rate structures, and weather patterns to optimise when the stored energy is used.

Step 3: Discharging.
Energy is discharged from the battery storage system during times of high usage, reducing or eliminating costly demand charges.

Battery storage: the technicalities

Each energy storage unit comprises several key components: multiple battery modules, onboard sensors, control mechanisms, and an inverter. DC-coupled units use a separate inverter, while AC-coupled ones have an integrated inverter, enhancing the system’s capabilities beyond a basic battery.

Swappable battery modules in these units ensure reliability, allowing for easy replacement without downtime. Sensors monitor safety and operational conditions, providing real-time data for both users and energy companies. Control components automate the system’s functioning, like charging during low-cost periods or discharging during high-cost times, or storing energy for outages.

Inverters simplify installation, with AC-coupled units offering more flexibility and ease of integration into existing power networks. High-end systems often include additional features like built-in cooling, weatherproof construction, and scalable architecture, allowing for expansion as needed.

These elements collectively make battery energy storage systems safe, adaptable, and cost-efficient.

In conclusion, battery storage technologies are an indispensable part of the renewable energy landscape, offering a robust solution for storing and managing green energy. From optimising energy use in homes and businesses to supporting large-scale renewable energy grids, these systems bring efficiency and reliability to the forefront. The integration of advanced technology in battery storage systems, such as lithium-ion batteries, intelligent software, and control mechanisms, not only ensures a steady supply of renewable energy but also contributes to the reduction of carbon footprint. As the world continues to shift towards sustainable energy sources, battery storage stands as a pivotal innovation, enabling a more resilient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly energy future.

Speak to Local Power about the benefits of adding battery storage to your solar PV system.